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Call for Posters - 2015 CHA Annual Meeting

Published on March 2, 2015

The Programme Committee for the 2015 Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting invites proposals for the Poster Session at the 2015 Congress in Ottawa, Ontario.

Annual Meeting Theme: Rethinking interdisciplinarity in history
Teaching and capturing the attention of new generations now means drawing from different spheres of knowledge that complement each other and appear interrelated. To what extent do we need to rethink interdisciplinarity and innovate our approach to history? What is the future of history in an increasingly decompartmentalized and changing world?

What is the Poster Session?
The Poster Session is a format for history presentations about projects using visual evidence. It offers an alternative for presenters eager to share their work through one-on-one discussion, can be especially useful for work-in-progress, and may be a particularly appropriate format for presentations where visual or material evidence represents a central component of the project.

When is the Poster Session?
The poster session will be scheduled as a conference session in the regular program. Set-up will begin an hour before the Poster Session begins.

How to Submit a Proposal
Proposals must be submitted electronically (in ONE PDF document) to and include:

  1. Contact information, including participant(s’) name(s), address(es), email(s), phone number(s), and affiliation(s), and a brief explanation of needs. (You may request ½ of a 6’ table, access to one electrical outlet, and/or an easel and foam core on which to display your poster.) Wireless internet access will not likely be available, download your website to your hard drive. Participants must provide their own computer if one will be used in the presentation. Due to limited space, projectors may not be used during the poster presentation.
  1. An abstract of no more than 300 words (including title) that explains and promotes the project. Be persuasive! Imagine that the audience for the proposal abstract is a museum visitor, potential funding agency, recalcitrant client, or fractious community group.
  1. A one-page c.v. or resume for each participant.
  1. You are encouraged, but not required, to include a simple one- or two-page visual mock-up of the display (e.g., created in PowerPoint, Photoshop, or Publisher, etc. and saved as a PDF).

If you are not sure how to combine everything into one PDF document, your institution’s technology staff should be able to assist you.

Why is the Poster Session important?

Posters give graduate students and others a way to display and discuss their project-based work in a format that is interactive and collegial. Posters are also a perfect venue to show off the material and visual work of historians and public historians. In the sciences, posters are often a way to present preliminary data on a research topic and gather advice 

These guidelines are an attempt to standardize the posters, levelling the playing field for all presenters, and hopefully, reducing the cost of posters to students (especially the cost of shipping.) However, we are keenly aware of the need for creative license in creating the posters and do not want to quash anyone’s creativity. We ask that presenters stick to the size and material guidelines for the poster. Upon request in your proposal, one-half of a six foot table will be provided where groups can display websites, video, audio, objects, baked goods, and other supporting materials. *Please note that internet access will not be available for the poster session. If you wish to demonstrate any websites or videos drop them onto your hard drive.

What are the requirements for a poster?
Posters should be no larger than 36” x 48”.

Use laminated paper or poster paper. Printed fabric posters are a little more expensive but much easier to transport. If you will need space to hang a poster, please be sure to request foam core and an easel in your proposal. (This is subject to recommendations of Local Arrangements Committee on what supporting equipment is available.)

Formatting and Content Advice
A good poster should introduce your topic, research questions or goals, methods, what was accomplished and what you learned. Be sure to include the following:

• Give the poster a title.

• Use images to illustrate your points.

• Caption photos with a title, photographer, and date.

• Keep text under 800 words and use an accessible font and size. Edit carefully. The test of a good poster is if someone can read it in five minutes and understand your main points.

• Print out all text. Do not hand letter.

• Consider making legal-sized copies of your poster as handouts. Observers often want something to take away. Provide your contact information so folks can reach you later with questions or suggestions.

The American Historical Association has some instructions on their website 

The Society for Conservation Biology also offers suggestions for creating effective posters.

Colin Purrington, graphic designer, provides an engaging review of boosting your poster power. Don't let your clothes clash with your poster.

Presentation Advice
Students should be prepared to give a brief oral introduction to the project and answer questions.

Printing and Shipping Advice
You have a few options for printing and shipping. You may print the poster at home, roll it in a poster tube and ship it to the Conference Office. You may also print your poster at home and carry it on the plane. If you do not wish to ship or transport the poster, you may email your poster file to a print shop at University of Ottawa (on campus facilities information will be provided closer to the annual meeting) and pick it up there.


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